It would be easy to feel some whiplash over recent Trump administration moves on oil-and-gas industry access — or lack thereof — to areas currently off-limits.
Driving the news: Trump used a Tuesday stop in Florida — a swing state with a huge electoral vote bounty — to announce an order that keeps the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits through 2032.
President Trump said Tuesday that he will extend a longstanding ban on offshore drilling off the coast of Florida, a critical 2020 swing state, and expand it to Georgia and South Carolina.
Why it matters: The announcement would further seal off the eastern Gulf of Mexico, a region long-coveted by oil companies.
The oil market's recovery from the depths of the pandemic-fueled collapse has gone into reverse lately.
Driving the news: Prices stalled in the low $40s per barrel for the U.S. benchmark WTI several months ago and have been losing ground in recent days.
Americans are hopping on planes more than their counterparts in Europe and the rest of the Western hemisphere, a new U.S. Energy Information Administration analysis shows.
Why it matters: Persistently subdued air travel is one of the biggest reasons analysts are increasingly expecting global oil demand to plateau below pre-pandemic levels.
Various fossil fuel industries shed a combined 118,000 jobs in the March-July period, per a BW Research analysis.
Why it matters: It's a window onto the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector's workers.
The decadeslong fight over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is nowhere near over, despite the Interior Department taking a big step Monday toward allowing development.
The Interior Department on Monday finalized plans to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, a pivotal — but hardly the final — step in a decades-long battle over the ecologically sensitive region thought to hold huge oil deposits.
The big picture: Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign said he would look to prevent drilling if elected. "His plan released last year made clear that he will permanently protect ANWR and other areas impacted by President Trump's attacks on federal lands and waters," the campaign said.
The combined number of active U.S. oil and natural gas drilling rigs slid again last week, per data compiled by the oilfield services firm Baker Hughes.
Why it matters: It signals the pullback in new development that will keep U.S. output below pre-pandemic levels for a long time.
The oil industry is facing an immense amount of uncertainty, even for a sector that bobs along in the currents of global markets and geopolitics despite its enormous power.
The big picture: As Democrats hold their convention this week, seeking a boost for Joe Biden heading into the heart of the 2020 campaign, the election is unfolding against another huge source of uncertainty for the industry: the coronavirus pandemic.
Chevron is making a Series A investment in the three-year-old nuclear fusion startup Zap Energy, marking the latest foray by an oil-and-gas giant into companies outside a core business.
Why it matters: It's the first nuclear power investment from Chevron Technology Ventures, the company's in-house VC arm that's spreading money around a range of energy technologies.